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Just a Thought

With October here, we are seeing visions of pink popping up everywhere to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Over the years, we have seen everything from clothes and candy to NFL uniforms draped in splashes of pink; all to create awareness of this disease.

I lost a beloved aunt from metastasized breast cancer 10 years ago. Aunty Mary was that aunt that everyone loved. She was funny, caring and full of life; just a wonderful lady we still miss to this day and who we still reminisce about at family gatherings.

Recently, I was considering donating to a breast cancer organization in my aunt's name. I began doing some research online and found some surprising opinions concerning Breast Cancer Awareness Month—that there seems to be a growing weariness with October's annual month of "pinkness."

Despite the millions (maybe it's more like billions) of dollars spent on breast cancer awareness over the last 20 years, many advocates are saying the pink marketing campaign has had its day and would rather see action taken in the form of medical research instead.

From what I have read, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States and in 2017, its estimated that more than 250,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed. Those statistics are staggering to me. And while progress has been made in the fight against it, more needs to be done.

Still, I think raising awareness about this disease can have some  positive impacts; seeing a pink ribbon is good, a reminder that all women are susceptible to the disease. Maybe it's a reminder to schedule a mammogram, call a friend recently diagnosed, or take part in a breast cancer fundraising event. But for me, seeing pink this month will mean finding the best organization to make a donation to that works solely on research. Because to me, the goal is to finally eradicate the disease so that someday the beautiful fall foliage we see are the only colors associated with the month of October.


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